TASB Risk Management Fund Announces Excellence Award Winners
Austin— The Texas Association of School Boards Risk Management Fund announced that seven member school districts have been named 2022 Excellence Award winners in honor of their commitment to developing innovative and effective solutions to risk management challenges.
The annual award program is designed to showcase members of the TASB Risk Management Fund, which includes more than 1,000 Texas public school districts, community colleges, education service centers, and other education entities collaborating to share risk and protect resources.
“Our Fund members have a vested interest in managing the risks that their organizations face to ensure safe and secure environments for students and staff. Their efforts also benefit every Fund member,” said TASB Risk Management Fund Strategy and Risk Officer Mary Barrett. “We’re proud of the work that’s being done among our member organizations across the state and want to highlight these innovative success stories.”
Winners earn a plaque, a $1,000 risk management honorarium, and recognition in TASB and Fund publications. This year’s winners include efforts to improve transportation safety with collision investigation training and an incident review board for better tracking and evaluation at Fort Bend ISD. An improved bus accident review process also earned Klein ISD a 2022 Excellence Award. Lyford ISD was recognized for its work in starting a bus driver safety incentive program.
Other innovative efforts recognized this year include campus wellness rooms to improve physical and mental health among the staff at Mission CISD. See below for full details of each winning district’s programs.
The winners are evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Effectiveness: Solution directly improves your risk management practices, functions, or processes.
- Efficiency: Solution makes good use of resources, including money and staff time.
- Impact: Solution addresses a critical or pressing need for your organization, demonstrated by specific and documented savings or reduced injuries.
- Innovation: Solution is creative and represents out-of-the-box thinking or a creative adaptation of an established idea.
Fund members are encouraged each year to submit their applications, which are then reviewed by a team of TASB employees, who send a list of recommended initiatives to the 19-member Fund Board of Trustees. That group makes the final selection during its summer board meeting, held in early August.
“We are always impressed by the creative solutions and initiatives Fund members develop to address the challenges in their school districts,” said Fund Chair Ted Beard, a Longview ISD trustee. “By honoring these success stories, we hope to encourage other districts to perhaps use some of these ideas in their own organizations or spark them to come up with other solutions. This year’s winners really reflect that ongoing commitment to risk management and we’re proud of their work.”
Throughout the 2022-23 year, TASB and the Fund will highlight these risk management success stories in various publications. Here are this year’s winners:
2022 Excellence Award Winners
Fort Bend ISD
Vehicle/Accident Collision Training and Incident Review Board
Fort Bend ISD established an Incident Review Board (IRB) that allows the transportation leadership team to track and evaluate bus incidents/accidents. The IRB monitors accident trends, identifies and eliminates unsafe conditions, evaluates the district’s response to accidents, and ensures employee training addresses root accident causes. Understanding that safety starts at the top of the organization, Fort Bend ISD collaborated with the Fund to deliver vehicle collision investigation training to directors, assistant directors, and other leaders who respond to accidents.
Bus and White Fleet Accident Log
As a large district with over 800 yellow and white fleet vehicles, Klein ISD found it hard to keep track of accidents. An accident log was created, along with folders that keep all documents, estimates, and emails related to each accident. The log improved communication by informing supervisors about accidents and claim status. Collecting all information related to each accident in a central location empowers staff to manage claims more efficiently.
Sale and Removal of Nine Portables
From 2005 to 2021, portable buildings served as classroom and office space for as many as 30 Lovejoy ISD employees. The buildings had been the source of multiple claims, most notably from freezes and subsequent water damage. They also presented safety and security challenges. By selling through a "Buyer Premium" auction, which requires the buyer to pay all associated auction costs in addition to liability for removal, the district made a significant profit. Staff also anticipates a reduction in future claim costs.
Bus Driver Safety Incentive
As part of its efforts to transport students safely, Lyford CISD rolled out a bus driver safety incentive program. Under the program, drivers who are not involved in any accidents receive a $1,000 bonus at the end of each school year. Safety checks and quality training contribute to ongoing positive reinforcement of the program. The district completed the school year with zero driver and route accidents, which significantly reduced transportation claims.
Campus Wellness Rooms
The working environment has taken a toll not only on people's physical health but also their mental health. To encourage employees to make time for self-care, Mission CISD set up wellness rooms at every campus. The rooms are equipped with fitness equipment, weight scales, and blood pressure monitors, as well as cookware to encourage healthy eating. As a result, Mission CISD has seen productivity increase and medical claims decrease.
A team of four safety-minded women in the Sabinal ISD food service department started the school year with a plan to reduce muscle aches and fatigue. They overhauled their daily routines to include stretching, hydration, breaks, and task rotation aimed at avoiding burnout and muscle fatigue. Uniforms were purchased to keep the team cool and comfortable during the workday. The initiative created a safer workplace with no injuries, boosted morale, reduced body pains and stress, allowed employees to learn new tasks, and fostered a happier work environment.
Thrall ISD is a small district where employees assume multiple roles and face many obstacles, including a lack of updated safety measures. The district hired a safety coordinator to help protect employee well-being. Collaborating with key stakeholders, the safety coordinator has conducted the district’s first fire inspections, made changes to comply with safety regulations at each campus and district building, and updated security cameras to guarantee district assets are under surveillance. In addition, workers’ compensation claims have decreased as the district focuses on prevention and ensuring staff has proper tools and equipment.
About the TASB Risk Management Fund
Established in 1974, the Fund offers comprehensive coverage that responds to the risks faced by public schools across Texas. Guided by a 19-member board of school administrators and board trustees, employees at TASB administer the Fund and provide solutions to help members maintain safe and secure places of learning.
TASB is a nonprofit organization established in 1949 to serve local Texas school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 5.4 million public school students.